Oat products are everywhere, especially in breakfast foods eaten by potentially millions of Americans each day –– like oatmeal, breads, and other cereals.
Now, if you follow the “Gundry Way” of eating, you already know that Dr. Gundry has oat products firmly placed on his NO list. This is because oat-based products, as well as other grains, contain lectins.1
But, if you’re still on the fence about oat products, a new study may have you thinking differently…
An international network of environmental organizations known as Friends of the Earth (FOE) conducted this study. FOE’s work covers 74 countries, including the United States. The group works alongside the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Now, FOE took a close look at some of the biggest brands, from some of the most popular supermarkets in the U.S., independently testing them for residues of toxic pesticides. A big part of the study looked at oat-based products commonly eaten by children and families.2
One of the pesticides FOE tested for was glyphosate, and the results were nothing short of alarming.
What is Glyphosate?
Glyphosate is an herbicide. That is, it’s toxic to plants. Its sole aim is to kill plants. Now, glyphosate is one of the most widely used herbicides in the U.S. for controlling weeds and problematic plants.3
It’s perhaps most famously found in the controversial weed killer Roundup.
Glyphosate is used on certain crops – like oats, wheat, and beans – right before harvest. But why would farmers want to kill their harvest if they want to sell it?
Well, the process is known as “desiccating” – and it’s basically the practice of killing the crop a week or two before harvest to accelerate the drying process.
This allows farmers to harvest several weeks earlier, especially in cooler, damp, climates.4
But because glyphosate is applied so close to harvest, there are obvious concerns about the levels of it in our food.
Why is Glyphosate Bad For You?
Now, the World Health Organization (WHO) deems glyphosate as “probably carcinogenic.” The agency is sticking to its guns on the issue, despite ongoing pressure from farmers and government agencies.5
In 2018, the Superior Court of California in San Francisco even awarded $289 million in damages to a groundskeeper who claimed that Roundup caused his terminal illness.6
What Did The Study Show?
As it turns out, many everyday popular brands of oat products contain glyphosate.
The FOE study found glyphosate residue in 100 percent of the brands they tested.
The average residue levels found in oat products in the FOE study was 360 ppb – or parts per billion. That’s more than twice the healthy benchmark of 160 ppb set by the Environmental Workers Group (EWG).
This benchmark states that there is approximately a one-in-a-million lifetime health risk posed by the ingestion of 0.01 mg of glyphosate per day –– or 160 ppb. So, if a cereal contains 360ppb, that’s more than double the risk. Some oatmeals and oat products actually came in closer to 1000 ppb!
While the FOE study is getting a lot of attention, the EWG has also undertaken similar studies on glyphosate in cereals. In 2018, EWG released the findings from a major study that revealed the weed killer was in all 28 samples of popular oat cereals – all marketed to children.
All but two of the samples had levels of glyphosate above what the EWG considers safe levels of ppb’s. One sample tested was found to have a whopping 2,837 ppb!7
The Gundry Way – Oat Products, Begone!
Here’s the bottom line: these results are startling and certainly a good reason to avoid oat-based products and other grains in your diet – just as Dr. Gundry advises as part of his eating program.
However, eating the Gundry Way doesn’t mean missing out on some equally delicious foods. Try out these delicious recipes for breakfast muffins, waffles, and tortilla chips. All of them are lectin (and pesticide) free!